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This poem is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

‘Late Hour’ and Other Poems Paul Deaton
Late Hour

We have found a new routine:
slightly earlier to bed, slightly less late talking
as we sink in this low-lying futon to dream.

The day slips off as easily as our clothes;
the heating makes a dull milk-shed moan
and something outside our hilltop flat grows and grows.

Is it night? A star’s tincture? The sense
of what we will not know? Our world
shrinks to the width of the bedroom’s lens.

Night thickens and the white wall,
a desert sphinx, a blank Buddha,
says nothing, a nothing, that is all.


a new quarantine,
days that hold before the clocks change,
the summer air chills to a setting coolness

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